Saturday, January 9, 2010

Maybank hold mighty KLHC

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club were finally brought down to earth at the Tun Razak Stadium when Maybank held them to a 1-1 draw in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division yesterday.
It was KLHC’s first blemish after seven matches, but coach R. Vivekanandan sees it as a blessing instead.
KLHC took the lead off Amirullah Aziz in the 12th minute, but Hairul Nizam equalised for the Tigers in the 52nd minute.
The match was an interesting affair, as KLHC had 33 shots at goal but could only score one, while Maybank only had 13 shots at goal, but managed to steal a point off the leaders.
“We had plenty of opportunities in the semi-circle, and also five penalty corners but failed to collect maximum points.
“However, I believe every team has its off day, and I am glad it came at this stage. The fault was not on fitness or skills, but mental strength, and I will address this before we head to Johor next weekend,” said Vivekanandan.
Maybank coach S. Velappan attributed the draw to: “It was a burning desire to win, which saw my players come back after a goal down to hold the tournament favourites.”
The Tigers know, realistically, KLHC is too far ahead to chase, so they will be in a battle with Tenaga and Sapura for the second spot.
“The fight for the second spot is valuable, as we will have an easier quarter-finals draw, avoiding KLHC in the last eight,” said Velappan.
Maybank goalkeeper Hakim Adnan, 21, a junior World Cup player, brought off some excellent saves from shots by national forwards Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Ismail Abu and Kelvinder Singh.
Tenaga Nasional kept the second spot in sight when they blasted Nur Insafi 6-1.
The Tenaga goals were scored by Faizal Shaari (15th, 37th, 41st), Sallehin Ghani (32nd), Tajol Rosli (44th) and Fairuz Ramli (51st).
Kul Bushan scored the consolation for Nur Insafi in the 53rd minute.
RESULTS: KL Hockey Club 1 Maybank 1, Nur Insafi 1 Tenaga Nasional 6, UniKL 0 Sapura 1.


P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 7 6 1 0 25 8 19
TENAGA 7 5 0 2 19 7 15
MAYBANK 7 3 3 1 14 9 12
SAPURA 7 3 2 2 15 10 11
UNIKL 7 0 1 6 2 19 1
NUR INSAFI 7 0 1 6 8 30 1

Pakistan players fined for this? Come on..

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s parliament has fined members of its national hockey team 200,000 rupees (US$2,350) after photos surfaced of them hugging a female liaison officer at the Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina last month.
Player Rehan Butt was fined 100,000 rupees (US$1,175) while coach Shahid Ali Khan and manager Asif Bajwa have to pay 50,000 rupees (US$588) each.
Pakistan team members took pictures with the liaison officer during the official players’ night at the end of the tournament. The dinner was also attended by other participating teams and their officials. Pakistan lost the final to New Zealand, costing them a place in the Champions Trophy.
“It is not our culture to hug a lady,” said Jamshed Dasti, chairman of Pakistan’s lower house standing committee on sports.
“The players are ambassadors of their country and they should remember this well.”
Coach Khan said that the Pakistan Hockey Federation had already taken a serious note of the pictures which were even uploaded on the popular website
“The PHF has warned all the team players and officials to be careful in future,” Khan said.
“It was an official players’ dinner and the lady requested us to have photos taken with her.
“But I agree with the committee members that some pictures were objectionable and it should have been avoided.”
Butt, who is due to compete in the World Cup in India next month, escaped a heavier punishment, as Dasti proposed to ban the forward from the national team.
“He is our key player for the World Cup and it would deal us a severe blow if you ban him,” pleaded Irfan Khokhar, chief coordinator of the PHF.
One of the female members of the committee Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry was furious after seeing the pictures.
“We live in an Islamic country,” she said.
“We have our own traditions, our own culture which should be portrayed abroad.
“We didn’t shake hands with males when our women parliamentary delegation visited the US last year and here they are giving a hug to a lady,” she said.
Dasti warned Khan not to get involved in such activities in future.
“If I would have to take the decision you all could have ended up in a lock-up after the team returned home,” he said.
“Don’t get yourselves involved in such parties in future tournaments abroad.”
Dasti instructed director general of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Amir Hamza Gilani to ensure the fine is paid, with receipts provided to the committee. — AP

Boycott reminiscent of 1975 camp

By Prabhjot Singh

Chandigarh: They say history repeats itself. And hockey players have proved this adage right. The boycott of World Cup camp by Indian hockey players at Pune today is not the first of its type as Indian hockey is full of such instances. The first and the foremost of such boycott threat dates back to 1975, weeks before our national team left the shores of the country to participate in the third World Cup Hockey Tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
The provocation for the 1975 team was infighting in the Indian Hockey Federation. The then President, Ashwani Kumar, had quit and there were rival bodies, each one claiming itself to be the genuine body administering the control of the game in the country. Fortunately, this infighting did not create any problem or hurdle in the training of the team as it was with the Punjab government.
Giani Zail Singh, the then Chief Minister of Punjab had constituted a small group of experts to prepare a blue print for the training of the team. The group comprised three-times Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Senior, coach Gurcharan Singh Bodhi, and the then Director of the PGI, Dr P.N. Chhuttani.
DR Chhuttani had named the Deputy Medical Superintendent of Nehru Hospital, Dr Rajinder Kalra, as medical officer attached with the camp. All physical fitness and medical tests on players were conducted at the PGI while Dr SS Gill of the Department of Physical Education of Panjab University was named physical trainer of the team. The issue of poor fiscal health of players had also come up then as the team had only a few players who held the rank of a gazetted officer. They included Harcharan Singh, Ajit Pal and HJS Chimni.
But the provocation to boycott was infighting in the IHF. The team wanted to go under the banner of the Indian Olympic Association. And interestingly, the team rode the victory podium by winning the only World Cup for the nation. Ultimately, the IHF led by Dr MAM Ramaswamy, was recognised by the IOA as well as the FIH and a tournament was organised at Chennai to celebrate Kuala Lumpur’s gold medal success and to felicitate the then FIH chief, Rene Frank.
Boycotts did not leave India alone. In the subsequent 1978 World Cup, some senior players, including Surjit Singh, Baldev Singh and Virinder Singh, walked out of the national camp at Patiala in protest against certain remarks made by the then Chairman of the Selection Committee against players belonging to a particular community.
In the subsequent tournament, fourth World Cup, played at Buenos Aires, finally when Indian team participated, it was without Surjit Singh while both Virinder Singh and Baldev Singh agreed to return after series of hectic parleys had taken place involving these three senior players, then Union Minister of State for Sports, Dhana Singh Gulshan - father of present Faridkot MP Paramjit Kaur Gulshan - and the Indian Hockey Federation.
Gopal Bhengra and Gurdishpal Singh of Chandigarh were announced as replacements for Baldev and Surjit Singh. When Baldev returned, Gurdishpal was dropped. The team did not perform well and ended without a medal. So Indian hockey is used to such upheavals on the eve of major competitions.

The Tribune

KL Hockey Club hit sixer

Smooth operator: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club’s Mohd Amerullah Abdul Aziz celebrates with team-mate Kelvinder Singh (right) after scoring a goal against Nur Insafi during their MHL Premier Division match at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday. KLHC won 6-0. — GLENN GUAN / The Star

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KHLC) blasted Nur Insafi 6- 0 at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday to consolidate their League title hunt in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division.
KLHC are unbeaten after six matches, and are the best bets to lay their hand on the League title two weeks from today.
Nur Insafi played well for 15 minutes, and could have even taken the lead, but crumbled when Amerullah Aziz opened accounts for KHLC in the 17th minute.
After that, it was easy for Kelvinder Singh (18th), Nabil Fiqri (40th), Azli Misron (54th), Firhan Ashaari (62nd) and Harvinder Singh (67th) to get their names on the score-sheet, and Nur Insfi players were more interested in arguing among themselves.
In another match, Tenaga kept their second-pace hopes alive when they edged UniKL-Ibil 2-0 with goals from Faizal Shaari in the 49th minute, and Amin Rahim in the 61st minutes.
In the last match of the day, Maybank and Sapura played to a 2-2 draw. The Maybank goals were scored by Hafifi Hafiz in the 16th and 33rd minutes, while the Sapura goals were scored by S. Kuhan in the 25th minute and Rodhanizam Radzi in the 28th minute.
“We are leading comfortably at the midway point, and aim to keep a strong grip in the remaining matches. I have stressed to my players to be humble and not get carried away, as we still have many tough matches to win.
“The game against Maybank tomorrow (today) is crucial, and we need the three points to make a clean break from the chasing pack,” said KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan.
The only bad news for KLHC is that their striker Ahmad Anuar Sham broke his finger in the last match against Tenaga Nasional, but his replacement Harvinder Singh proved his worth by scoring in his MHL debut.
Harvinder, a junior World Cup player, was fielded for their first time yesterday: “Ahmad Sham will be out for the season, but his replacement Harvinder proved himself with a well placed shot at goal.”
KLHC are virtually the Malaysian national side, and look set to win the League title in their maiden MHL appear ance.
RESULTS: KL Hockey Club 6 Nur Insafi 0, UniKL 0 Tenaga Nasional 2, Sapura 2 Maybank 2.
TODAY: KL Hockey Club v Maybank (4.30pm), Nur Insafi v Tenaga Nasional (6.30pm), UniKL v Sapura (8.30pm).
Note: All matches at the Tun Razak Stadium.